Len Lye Centre build contract expected soon

18:33, Feb 13 2013


Already behind schedule, it will be another two weeks before the New Plymouth District Council awards a contract to build the controversial $10 million Len Lye Centre.

Last year, council infrastructure general manager Jim Willson said a three-member panel would award a contract to build the centre by January 31, with work to begin on February 8.

Now the council is aiming to have the contract awarded by the end of the month.

"The architects are still liaising with the tenderers and trying to get to where they can make a recommendation to us. That's the evaluation process," Mr Willson said.

The Christmas and New Year break held up the process, and the complexity of the project, which involves earthquake strengthening in the Govett Brewster Art Gallery, and a combined temperature control system, meant the evaluation was taking longer than expected.


Mr Willson said cost was an aspect of the negotiations between the architects and tenderers and the council was "investigating different avenues" to meet budgets.

As far as he was aware the negotiations had not resulted in any design changes to the Len Lye Centre, and the contractors' pricing included the iconic stainless steel wave facade.

"It's pulling it all together so we know where all the costs are, where they lie. It's just that it's embryonic at the moment," he said.

Despite the project involving more than the construction of the Len Lye Centre, and the council committing to bringing in the building within budget, tenderers had lumped the construction cost for the centre in with the costs of the other improvements, Mr Willson said.

Budgeted to cost $10m, all money to build the centre was raised from grants and through sponsorship deals.

The cost of running the centre will be met by the council. In its first year these costs are budgeted at $362,000 or about $10 per ratepayer. Entry to the centre will be free.

Taranaki Daily News